I need for you to keep this post between us! If you happen to know any church stewardship consultants, please pretend you never received this post. You see, what I am about to tell you breaks all the rules.

I have been taught to never talk about a budget during a stewardship drive. Instead, I am supposed to tell you that we give in response to the grace God gives us. I am supposed to preach that we are created to be generous because we are created in the image of a generous God. And while I believe all of this to be true, I want to be very open and transparent with you. I am asking you to think about the budget as you prayerfully consider your financial commitment to our church for 2018.

Even though we finished about $9,000 in the red at the end of 2017, overall, we had a strong financial year. If we include all revenue we received, the total is approximately $1.8 million. Included in that number is $271,000 contributed to the ReImagine Campaign to reduce our debt and support of mission projects outside of the budget like Harvey relief. And while this total is incredible, because we operated with a barebones budget and a limited staff, we were able to fully live into our mission and calling. I hope that you have received a Covenant Card. (If not, click HERE.) Take a moment to pray over, fill out and return by either mailing it to the office or bringing it forward during worship on Sunday! I hope you will take a moment to examine the chart that is on the backside of the Card and locate your giving level. Imagine the impact that FUMCMC could have in our community if every one of us moved up one level on our chart. I challenge you to make that leap with me!

I know everyone is not in a financial position to move up a full step. Perhaps, you could move up within your step this year and make the leap to the next step in 2019.

Regardless of what you commit to give, your financial support is essential for the future of FUMCMC. And please remember, generosity is not about the amount, it is all about attitude.

As Jill and I filled our card out, we kept hearing the words that we learned one night from a 20-something server, “My life is not my own…”

Breathe Peace,

Marty Signature - REVERSED

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